Insight Guides Pocket Colombia (Travel Guide eBook)
114 pages

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Insight Guides Pocket Colombia (Travel Guide eBook)


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114 pages

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Insight Pocket Guides: ideal itineraries and top travel tips in a pocket-sized package.

Plan your trip, plan perfect days and discover how to get around - this pocket-sized guide is a convenient, quick-reference companion to discovering what to do and see in Colombia, from top attractions like Medellín to hidden gems, like exploring the country's Pacific coastline

Compact, concise, and packed with essential information about Where to Go and What to Do, this is an ideal on-the-move companion when you're exploring Colombia 

Covers Top Ten Attractions, including Bogotá and Cali and Perfect Day itinerary suggestions

Offers an insightful overview of landscape, history and culture

Contains an invaluable pull-out map, and essential practical information on everything from Eating Out to Getting Around

Inspirational colour photography throughout

Sharp design and colour-coded sections make for an engaging reading experience

About Insight Guides: Insight Guides is a pioneer of full-colour guide books, with almost 50 years' experience of publishing high-quality, visual travel guides with user-friendly, modern design. We produce around 400 full-colour print guide books and maps, as well as phrase books, picture-packed eBooks and apps to meet different travellers' needs. Insight Guides' unique combination of beautiful travel photography and focus on history and culture create a unique visual reference and planning tool to inspire your next adventure.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 avril 2019
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781789198133
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0015€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


How To Use This E-Book

Getting Around the e-Book
This Pocket Guide e-book is designed to give you inspiration and planning advice for your visit to Colombia, and is also the perfect on-the-ground companion for your trip.
The guide begins with our selection of Top 10 Attractions, plus a Perfect Itinerary feature to help you plan unmissable experiences. The Introduction and History chapters paint a vivid cultural portrait of Colombia, and the Where to Go chapter gives a complete guide to all the sights worth visiting. You will find ideas for activities in the What to Do section, while the Eating Out chapter describes the local cuisine and gives listings of the best restaurants. The Travel Tips offer practical information to help you plan your trip. Finally, there are carefully selected hotel listings.
In the Table of Contents and throughout this e-book you will see hyperlinked references. Just tap a hyperlink once to skip to the section you would like to read. Practical information and listings are also hyperlinked, so as long as you have an external connection to the internet, you can tap a link to go directly to the website for more information.
All key attractions and sights in Colombia are numbered and cross-referenced to high-quality maps. Wherever you see the reference [map], tap once to go straight to the related map. You can also double-tap any map for a zoom view.
You’ll find lots of beautiful high-resolution images that capture the essence of Colombia. Simply double-tap an image to see it in full-screen.
About Insight Guides
Insight Guides have more than 40 years’ experience of publishing high-quality, visual travel guides. We produce 400 full-colour titles, in both print and digital form, covering more than 200 destinations across the globe, in a variety of formats to meet your different needs.
Insight Guides are written by local authors, whose expertise is evident in the extensive historical and cultural background features. Each destination is carefully researched by regional experts to ensure our guides provide the very latest information. All the reviews in Insight Guides are independent; we strive to maintain an impartial view. Our reviews are carefully selected to guide you to the best places to eat, go out and shop, so you can be confident that when we say a place is special, we really mean it.
© 2019 Apa Digital (CH) AG and Apa Publications (UK) Ltd

Table of Contents
Colombia’s Top 10 Attractions
Top Attraction #1
Top Attraction #2
Top Attraction #3
Top Attraction #4
Top Attraction #5
Top Attraction #6
Top Attraction #7
Top Attraction #8
Top Attraction #9
Top Attraction #10
A Perfect Day in Colombia
Consider the contradictions
A Brief History
From hunter-gatherers to societies
The Spanish arrive
Independence from Spain
Colombia in modern times
Historical landmarks
Where To Go
Around Bogotá
Villa de Leyva
Zipaquirá and the Salt Cathedral
Plaza Botero
Medellín’s Parks
The Botanical Garden
El Poblado
Guatapé and El Peñol
Santa Fe de Antioquia
Reserva Natural Cañon del Río Claro
Hacienda Napoles
San Gil
Around town
Chicamocha Canyon
Exploring Barichara
Exploring Bucamaranga
Zona Cafetera
Navigating Manizales
El Cable
Parque Ecológico Río Blanco
Parque Nacional Los Nevados
Caribbean Coast
Central Barranquilla
Santa Marta
The center
The Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino
Parque Nacional Tayrona
Getting there
Ciudad Perdida and El Pueblito
Traveling to and from Riohacha
Santuario Los Flamencos
Cabo de la Vela
Punta Gallinas
Parque Nacional Natural Macuira
San Andrés Island
Old Providence McBean Lagoon
San Antonio and the West
The North and East
South of Cali
Pasto and the Far South
The Festival of Saint Francis of Assisi (Fiesta de San Pacho)
Parque Nacional Natural Utría
El Valle
Bahía Solano
Los Llanos and the Amazonas
Isla de los Micos
Puerto Nariño
Excursions from Puerto Nariño
What To Do
Shopping in Bogotá
Shopping in Medellín
Shopping in Cartagena
The Arts
Adventure Sports
Children’s Colombia
Calendar of events
Eating Out
What To Eat In…
The Caribbean
Northwest Colombia
Southern Colombia
What to drink
Fruit juice
Hot chocolate
Reading the Menu
To help you order
Menu Reader
La Candelaria
La Macarena
Zona G
Zona Rosa
Villa de Leyva
Santa fe de Antioquia
Zona Cafetera
Walled city
San Diego
San Antonio and the west
North and east Cali
A–Z Travel Tips
Airports (see Getting there)
Budgeting for your trip
Car rental (see Transport)
Crime and safety
Disabled travelers
Embassies and consulates
Emergency numbers
Getting there (see Airports)
Health and medical care (see Emergencies)
Pharmacies and hospitals
Left luggage
LGBTQ travelers
Opening hours
Postal services
Public holidays
Religious services
Time zone
Tourist information
Tour operators
South America
Weights and measures
Women travelers
Recommended Hotels
La Candelaria
Villa de Leyva
Zona Cafetera
Coffee Fincas and birding retreats
San Gil
Caribbean Coast
Santa Marta
The walled city
San Andrés
Central Cali
San Antonio and El Peñon

Colombia’s Top 10 Attractions

Top Attraction #1

Cartagena’s walled city
Walk alo
ng the ancient ramparts of this fortress city and feel the might once wielded by colonial Spain. For more information, click here .

Top Attraction #2
Sebastian Sanint/ProColombia

Zona Cafetera
South of Manizales lies Colombia’s premier coffee-growing region. For more information, click here .

Top Attraction #3

Ciudad Perdida
Not all ancient cities in South America are in Peru: these ruins pre-date Machu Picchu by 650 years. For more information, click here .

Top Attraction #4

La Candelaria
Bogotá’s historic center is a charming hilly colonial enclave. For more information, click here .

Top Attraction #5

Some of the greatest panoramic views in South America can be seen at Cristo Redentor, Machu Picchu– and Cerro Monserrate. For more information, click here .

Top Attraction #6
Getty Images

San Gil
Home of Colombia’s adventure-sports scene. For more information, click here .

Top Attraction #7

Guajira Peninsula
Colombia’s largest indigenous community live in this arid coastal area. For more information, click here .

Top Attraction #8

Visit the Chocó Department for the amazing wildlife, like the annual migration of humpback whales. For more information, click here .

Top Attraction #9

Few Spanish colonial towns in Colombia are as well preserved as Popayán, near the border with Ecuador. For more information, click here .

Top Attraction #10

Caño Cristales
Declared off limits in 1989, Caño Cristales is open for business again. For more information, click here

A Perfect Day in Colombia


Breakfast in Bogotá
Start the day the Colombian way, with a hearty breakfast. Head to Avenida Jimenez and the border between the city center and La Candelaria historic district. Here you’ll find plenty of cafeterias serving Andean cold-weather breakfast staples. Try the huevos rancheros (eggs scrambled with tomatoes and onions) served with a warming cup of hot chocolate.


Visit the Museums
Bogotá is home to the famous Museo del Oro (the Gold Museum). Located at Carerra Six (in the Banco de la Republicá building), the Museo del Oro holds the most comprehensive collection of Pre-Columbian gold (some 55,000 pieces) artifacts in Latin America.


Take a City Tour
Now it’s time to see the city in a different way. One popular option is to take a bicycle or walking tour of Bogotá. Most tours leave from La Candelaria and, depending whether you’re traveling on wheels or by foot, cover at least the historic center and often north to other places like Simón Bolívar Park and the newly trendy neighborhood of El Chapinero.


Lunch in the Historic Center
By now, you’ve surely worked up an appetite. Head to the historic Plaza Bolívar, which is the expansive seat of government in Colombia. After a spot of lunch, take a look around La Catedral and the grand colonial-era Roman Catholic church, then head to the northwest corner where it meets Calle 11.


Mercado Paloquemao
Now it’s time to visit the source of Bogotá’s culinary culture. Take a bus or taxi east from Calle 19 from downtown to Carerra 22, where at the corner you’ll find the Mercado Paloquemao. This municipal market takes up an entire city block and is a labyrinth of fresh fruits stalls, fishmongers, and butcher shops.


Cerro Monserrate
Head back west, past La Candelaria and into the hills overlooking the city. Here you’ll find Cerro Monserrate, a 3,152-meter (10,340ft) hill atop which sits a grand lookout featuring restaurants, an outdoor market, and a whitewashed colonial church. Take the teleferico (cable car) up to the summit, or walk up via the footpath.


Dinner in the Zona G
At the edge of the Chapinero neighborhood, in the north of Bogotá, you’ll find an area known as the “gourmet zone”, or Zona G. The Zona G is packed full of some of the most eclectic eateries in the city. Make this your dinner stop; within just a few city blocks you can travel around the culinary world.


A Night Out in the Zona Rosa
No visit to Colombia’s capital is complete without a late night bar hop. There are plenty of neighborhoods in which to enjoy a good pub crawl, but most travelers head to the Zona Rosa (or Zona T). This T-shaped intersection of streets, north of the Zona G, packs many, many bars and clubs into a small area.


Colombia is a land of contradictions and consistency, harmony and discord. On the one hand it’s renowned for its natural beauty and rich history steeped in indigenous culture. On the other hand, it’s a country that’s been embroiled in civil war for over half a century, and this legacy of violence often stalks Colombia’s reputation. But today a new dawn rises over the nation’s Andean highlands, its Caribbean beaches, its virgin rainforests, and all the natural beauty that has made Colombia a favorite with travelers from all over the world.
Consider the contradictions
The country’s population of nearly 50 million people is sizeable, but you’d never know it as you journey along the rolling green hills of the Antioquia region, or the fertile Cauca Valley, or the parched deserts of Guajira. There are places in Colombia that seem lost in time ‒ like the Chocó region of the Pacific coast, where the songs of migrating humpback whales carry through the air and mix with the Afro-Caribbean drums sounded by locals in the throes of their annual music festivals.
In the south, the Amazon rainforest is a remote and unspoiled eco-wonderland whose blanket of electric green jungle canopy conceals a universe of exotic flora and fauna. The scarlet macaw, poison dart frog, and the world’s tiniest primate ‒ the pygmy marmoset ‒ call this region home. Hear the calls of these creatures as you travel up that most primal of arterial waterways: the Amazon River. Here you can also expect to find frolicking pink river dolphins, stoic caimans, and slithering anacondas. And throughout the region indigenous locals still live simply, in harmony with their surroundings, much the way they did hundreds of years ago before any Spanish conquistador put his buckled boot on Colombian soil.
Contrast this with the Colombia of the 21st century: the capital of Bogotá is a dense metropolis ‒ a ball of kinetic energy, always moving, pulling you in a hundred directions at once. At one end of the city, in the upscale Zona Rosa district, modern shopping complexes abound with affluent patrons and nightclubs pulse until the early hours. At the other end, Bogotá’s cobbled streets and sprawling plazas are testament to Spain’s colonization. Yet one constant remains: in Bogotá, as you’ll find throughout this unforgettable country, untouched beauty exists side by side with heart-breaking poverty.
In every corner of Colombia, people struggle to get by. But the hard realities of daily toil haven’t dulled Colombians’ indefatigable spirit, their natural warmth, or their exuberant personality. They love people and music, dance and parties; they welcome visitors from all walks of life with open arms, ready to show off the beauty of their homeland. It’s this spirit of conviviality that is the reason why Colombia is consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world.

Woman at the Wayúu Cultural Festival
There’s a lot to show off, too. Geographically, Colombia is the only country in South America possessing both a Caribbean and Pacific coast. There’s literally something for everyone here. Fancy an island hop? You can bounce between the azure waters and white-sand beaches of Isa San Andrés before jetting off to nearby Providencia and diving its coral reef. Maybe embark on a desert adventure across the Guajira Peninsula, where you’ll find the northernmost point on the South American continent. Then there’s all those jungles and rainforests, from Tayrona National Park on the Caribbean coast all the way south to the Amazon and the borders with Brazil and Peru.
Throughout it all you’ll find indigenous culture. Tayrona Park, in fact, is home to the Kogi people, direct descendants of the Tairona tribe. It was the Tairona people who built some of the ancient sites that are still standing in this tropical protected area. One such landmark is Ciudad Perdida (the Lost City), a remote grouping of indigenous ruins that rival Machu Picchu for spectacle.
Unfortunately, this peaceful existence wasn’t destined to last. The Spaniards first arrived here at the turn of the 16th century, blinded by visions of wealth and dreams of El Dorado, a mythical lost city of gold. They never found El Dorado, but they plundered enough gold from the indigenous to create 100 El Dorados. That legacy is seen in the plazas of Santa Marta ‒ the founding site of the country ‒ and written on the ancient ramparts of fortress cities like Cartagena.
It is the coast, and Cartagena in particular, that became the starting point for a confluence of races and peoples who would end up defining Colombia. The Spaniards came for gold, and brought slaves who introduced their Afro-Caribbean culture that is so prevalent in coastal Colombia today. You can still see remnants of this culture on the streets in Cartagena and in the the palenqueras , women in traditional dress and headscarves who balance bowls of fruit on their heads in the hopes of snagging a few pesos from tourists.

Salsa show in Cali
Getty Images
You also hear it in the music. The Afro-Caribbean population mingled with immigrants from Europe over the years, and this created much of the music that is the lifeblood of Colombian culture to this very day: cumbia and vallenato are both genres that are as distinct as they are varied, yet unmistakably Colombian. All of this musical heritage mixed together and evolved, leading inexorably to the rise of the musical form that overtook the country and came to define it: salsa.

The home of salsa

If you want to get to the beating heart of Colombia, look no further than salsa. From Cartagena to Medellín, from Barranquilla to Bogotá, sultry syncopations blaze a trail through the country, with all roads leading to one place: Cali, the salsa capital of Colombia. Everyone here dances it, young and old, male or female. This music has helped many Colombians through some of the nation’s darkest times.
Unfortunately, for too many years that music and Colombia’s rich culture was drowned out by the country’s tragic history. For decades the Colombia was notorious for internecine strife and larger-than-life narcotraficantes ‒ drug traffickers, or “narcos”. Men like Pablo Escobar and the Rodríguez Orejuela brothers ruled their cocaine empires with an iron fist. On the other end of the spectrum, left-wing guerrillas waged a seemingly endless war against the government. For many years, Colombia was known more for assassinations and bombings than eco-tourism and adventure.
But something happened on the way to Colombia becoming a failed state. The people took back their country from the forces that threatened to destroy it, and took pride in their nation once again. Literary lion Gabriel García Márquez revealed the wild, magical dream of Colombia to the world, and for that he was awarded the Nobel Prize. Interest began to percolate, and when tourism spiked in the mid-2000s the message was clear: Colombia is open for business once again.

Traditionally dressed man in Jardín
Today, the narcos are no more. The left-wing guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries, and national government are moving inexorably (although obliquely) towards a ceasefire. The promise of total peace is within touching distance, and the world is taking notice. To the travelers and tourists who now descend upon Colombia year after year, it’s a place where life becomes a dream and reality becomes magic. To many locals, Colombia is paradise lost ‒ and found once again. It’s an unfinished work of art, ever-evolving, sometimes tortured, occasionally tragic, but always worth fighting for. Even amid its often harsh realities and glaring economic iniquity, there’s little that can temper the vivid magic of Colombia’s beautiful dream.

A Brief History

Colombia wears its history on its sleeve.

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